Friday, February 24, 2017

The Shack; A Microcosm of Evangelicalisms' Immaturity: A Brief Analysis of Where This Problem Stems From.

American evangelicals today often flock to churches that offer "relevant, creative, and practical" Bible teaching. On the surface this sounds like a good thing, right? Many of these same "church growth" gurus promote "seeker-friendly" series such as "Finding God in the movies" and other topical messages in hopes of attracting large crowds and holding the interest of the audiences entertainment orientated minds. When books of the Bible are actually "exposited" in worship services it is generally done in a very surfacy manner. I often refer to this as "shallow, evangelical principlizing."  What's wrong with any of this Mr. blogger dude?  To which I say this...if the primary goal of a local church is to fill auditoriums and establish multi-site campuses under the banner of ministry success then this consumer-driven, market-savvy approach makes complete sense.  However, if the goal of Christian ministry is to make "mature disciples" of all the nations, as Jesus' states in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), then the American church is in serious crisis.

One of the problems with "church growth" methodology is that it often promotes a kind of topical (surfacey) preaching, which by definition, lacks theological depth and precision (see 2 Timothy 4:1-5). It is "evangelical lite" (see Heb. 5:12-14; 2 Tim. 4:3-4). Over time congregations that are regularly fed milk fail to truly grow up; which is no small problem (see Colossians 1:28-29). Without a solid understanding of the orthodox faith (i.e. doctrine and theology) the flock of God will not learn how to discern.  Paul put it this way in Ephesians 4:11-16; And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

Given enough time this unbiblical approach to preaching and ministry always come back to haunt the Christian church.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Man in the Arena

The Man in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” (Theodore Roosevelt, Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910)